Dear Me, On My First Day of Advertising #1: Jonathan Schoenberg

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Dear self on your first day of work,

You don't suck as much as you think you do. And, if you do suck that much, nobody has figured it out yet, so try and relax and see if they figure it out.

Ok, not that relaxed, you should not be drinking at two in the afternoon on your first day of work. I take it back you should be insecure and you are an idiot. Ok sorry, you do write pretty well buzzed, but not as well as you think.

Those thrift store dress shoes from the 1940s/50s that you keep wearing are not that cool, and they are gross. You can't really clean "vintage" shoes , and there is something very unclean about wearing other people's old shoes. These geriatric shoes don't make you more interesting, they make you look like you live with your grandfather and borrow his old shoes.

Account people are your advocates, don't be one of those infantilized junior creatives that argues about dumb shit that does not impact the idea. Be that young person that accepts you have been in the business for 10 minutes and should talk less and listen more.

Keep writing those "thank you" notes, even in the future when nobody writes handwritten "thank you" notes. You got into this business by accident, and by the generosity of people who could have easily been less generous with their time, please don't forget it.

Don't grow a goatee in the summer of 1995 like every other junior copywriter in NYC. You will look like a douche. You are sort of a douche already so the goatee is really gonna put it over the edge.

Thanks for reading my note and please know that you are going to enjoy your career a great deal. Even if you will spend your first several years not listening, drinking too much, wearing old shoes, and growing that douche goatee.


Your future self.

To read the entire 2013 'On My First Day of Advertising' series, click this.


This is pretty great.

Very great.

Oh my! I'm a copywriter for two and a half years, and all I do is drink too much, wear old shoes, and grow that goatee. Guess I need to change that.. Good one!

On my first day of advertising at TDA, I wanted to quit.

On my first day of advertising at TDA, I realized that advertising was going to be a lot of fun. I enjoyed your words. Thanks, Schoenie.

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